Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky), who is an ophthalmologist, warned US officials might be understating the danger posed by the ebola virus on American soil in an interview on “The Laura Ingraham Show” that aired Wednesday.
“This could get beyond our control,” Paul said.
On Tuesday, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the first case of ebola diagnosed in the US. Despite the diagnosis, CDC officials said they were confident “it will not spread widely in this country” and at a press conference on Thursday CDC Director Tom Frieden said sealing off countries in West Africa, which is in the midst of an ebola epidemic, would not slow the spread of the disease.
However, Paul, who is widely considered a potential Republican presidential candidate in the 2016 election, suggested US officials are downplaying the risks of ebola due to “political correctness.”
“I think because of political correctness we’re not really making sound, rational, scientific decisions on this,” said Paul. “It’s a big mistake to underestimate the potential for problems worldwide.”
Last month, President Barack Obama announced his decision to send 3,000 US troops to Africa to aid efforts to combat the disease there. Paul suggested this move could actually accelerate the spread of ebola to the US.
“You also have to be concerned about 3,000 soldiers getting back on a ship,” Paul said. “Can you imagine if a whole ship full of our soldiers catch Ebola?”
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